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Shock in Thailand after bloody deed with 37 dead in day care center

After the massacre at a daycare center in north-east Thailand, the authorities are still looking for the perpetrator's motive.

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Shock in Thailand after bloody deed with 37 dead in day care center

After the massacre at a daycare center in north-east Thailand, the authorities are still looking for the perpetrator's motive. A former police officer stormed the daycare center in Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday, killing 37 people. According to police, 24 children are among the victims. Nearly a dozen people were injured, some seriously. The man was armed with a gun and a knife.

The 34-year-old suspect was fired from police service in June for possession of methamphetamine pills. A case was initiated against him. The sentence was to be announced on Friday, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported.

According to Deputy Police Chief Torsak Sukwimol, a hearing on the case was held on Thursday. After the accused left the court, he seemed stressed and took some sedatives, Sukwimol quoted the perpetrator's mother as saying. Then he developed paranoia. He grabbed his gun and drove to the daycare center.

Why he chose this as a target was still unclear. The building is near his own home, police said. Whether anger at his dismissal was the motive for the bloodbath has also yet to be clarified.

After the attack, the perpetrator initially fled in a white pick-up and apparently killed other people. The emergency services issued a manhunt. As they surrounded his house, he first shot his wife and son, 3, and then himself, the Central Investigation Bureau said on Facebook.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha spoke in a statement of a "shocking incident" and promised help for the affected families. He also wanted to travel personally to the site of the bloody crime 500 kilometers northeast of Bangkok on Friday. Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has also announced help for the relatives and sent a representative to the province, said the chief of the national police, Damrongsak Kittiprapas.

The massacre is one of the worst acts of violence in the recent history of the Buddhist country. In February 2020, a soldier killed 29 people in a shooting spree at a shopping center in Nakhon Ratchasima in the north-east of the country. He was later shot dead by security forces.

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